Archive | October, 2014

Chelwood Common and Veasey & Sons fish shop

22 Oct

The run

Picked a shortish one today – only 2.5 miles, having run 9 miles yesterday and coming up to a big event at the weekend, I felt in need of a bit of recovery. In fact, in the end I didn’t run at all but walked it, somewhat out of necessity as there was a lot of uphill! Left the college and set the Sat Nav to the researched post code and set off on the lovely drive through Chailey Common, enjoying the autumn colour and the feeling that I now get of the different areas beginning to join up. I love to drive past somewhere and think, been there, ran there, ate there. I reached Chelwood Common in about half an hour but the Sat Nav seemed to take me to someone’s house, I drove up and down the road thinking ‘It can’t be that hard to find the pub’ and circled the village several times before stopping by the pony trekking centre.

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Intrigued by cobnuts – what are they like? I should have bought some! Instead I wandered up and down the village street looking for the pub, eventually asking a roofer if he knew where it was, but he wasn’t from the village so I asked another family who were out in their garden and they gave me directions – behind the houses and down the hill. Parked up in the pub car park and set off, walking. Very straightforward instructions, it was nice to feel like I wouldn’t get lost this week and be able to enjoy the countryside. Much of the walk was through woodland, with a few fields of sheep and horses thrown in.

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In quite a few places the route went uphill, quite steeply – good to get the heart rate up! There were also several streams to cross with footbridges and quite an impressive tree house in the woods!

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I wished I had brought my flask of coffee and fruit and nuts snack with me because it would have been pleasant to stop and take in the scenery. I forget, when I am walking that there is more opportunity for that. I didn’t really see anyone on the walk except for a man and his dog, Rufus. The dog had just got over an elbow injury (I didn’t know dogs had elbows) and it was his first walk in a long time. He seemed to want to come along with me which was the opposite way to the way his master was going!

Funghi on the trail

Funghi on the trail

Towards the end of the walk I thought I was going to get lost again, as the instructions did not seem to marry up with what was in front of me. Sometimes it is difficult to interpret the distance intended, and you have to keep faith and continue on. Soon I was heading back down the hill and the pub was in sight. I passed this produce stall on my way back to the pub, the sign reads; ‘We are sorry. Due to theft approx £30 last 6 weeks only limited supply of eggs. Any required call at house, Russell.’ Ooh egg-rustling in Chelwood Common!

Who's been stealing all the eggs?

Who’s been stealing all the eggs?

The farm

As most farm shops seem to be closed on Mondays I decided, instead, to head for Forest Row and go to Veaseys & Sons award-winning fish shop. The only thing I know about Forest Row is a friend of my son’s used to go to the Steiner school there. He was once invited to this boy’s birthday party and it was the most bizarre thing as most of the boys started fighting but the parents didn’t seem the least bit concerned. My son and I just looked on in bemusement – maybe it’s part of the Steiner philosophy? Anyway, I managed to park up in the free car park just behind the shop, and had a little look in the window before wandering around to see what else Forest Row had to offer. It had a very good organic wholefood shop called Seasons which seemed to be very well stocked and the selection of bread looked amazing (it’s a shame I didn’t need any). The town also had a nice toyshop which I visited in order to buy a birthday card, and several alternative health shops (it seemed like that kind of place). Returned to the fish shop, having worked out roughly what I was going to buy – I needed some white fish to poach for a clean eating recipe I am going to try as part of my challenge. I was the only customer and the shop is quite small so there was limited browsing time, however, there was an attractive display of fresh fish, including organic salmon, fresh sardines, cod etc, a counter of cooked fish (mackerel, salmon, seafood etc) and a freezer full of squid, crab and more. I explained what I was cooking and the fishmonger recommended a couple of fillets of cod. The recipe was delicious, quick and easy, the ginger worked particularly well. I also bought a piece of oven roasted salmon which I have just eaten for lunch with the left over leeks and noodles from the cod dish. Would highly recommend a visit. Get some bread from Seasons while you are at it!

The lunch

Lunch was made this morning, as per the rules of the challenge and brought with me. I made a ham, cottage cheese and salad wholemeal wrap which I ate in the car. There must be a secret to stopping a wrap falling apart which I am not party to – or maybe I overfilled it?

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Waldron and Middle Farm Shop

17 Oct

The run

A very unpromising start to the day – heavy downpours interspersed with sunny spells – but you know what they say: ‘If it ain’t raining, it ain’t training’, so I dropped my daughter at college and headed off to Waldron on the second attempt to do the walk from the Star Inn. A busy weekend had meant little planning time so I just grabbed the sheets I had previously copied out of the Pub Strolls book and set off.

 

It seemed simple enough to start with, The Star Inn being next to the church where the walk began. The first instruction was to take a stile over the back of the churchyard and cross a field. Firstly, it was very difficult to tell the front from the back of the church as they both had entrances, and secondly there was no stile, but a kissing gate.

Timmy and Roger

Timmy and Roger

Quite an interesting graveyard here, these are the graves of Timmy and Roger not sure if they are for babies or animals?

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Once into the field and not at all confidant that I was following the instructions correctly I decided to abandon the walk on the paper in front of me and use my visual memory and the way markers to guide me. As long as I remember where I have been then I shall be able to get back I reasoned.

All was well, I followed the way markers over stiles and through a horses’ field. In terms of livestock I am not quite sure where I stand on horses. They are large, granted, but I perceive them to be intelligent and friendly, however I skirted the edge of the field and kept my distance from the head-tossing mare.

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At this point I could see no more way markers and was surrounded by fields of horses, I made my way to what looked like a farm entrance and passed a lady practicing her show-jumping. She informed me that the path was back the way I had come and so I turned around and headed through another field, exiting onto the road in the village of Cade Street where I also spotted this memorial – or warning to traitors! The full story of Jack Cade’s rebellion is here.

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By this point I was on the road and using my phone to guide me – it looked like Waldron was some miles away but that did not seem logical with the short distance I had cut across fields and woods.

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Continued on, taking the old Heathfield road and was soon surprised to be running past my car! Shorter than I would have liked, however I decided to finish and eat my snack on the bench by the roadside. I could see two police women in the village and was approached by one who asked if I had seen an elderly lady on my run. The 67-year-old had not been seen since yesterday and they feared she may have got lost or taken ill. Sadly I couldn’t help them – I hope they found her?

 

The farm

Mondays are tricky for farm shops. I had located one, Redlands Farm Shop, however no opening hours on their website and no answer when I telephoned. When I went there it was closed, but fortunately, having plenty of time I decided to revisit one of my favourites: Middle Farm. I wanted to buy some healthy ready meals for my husband and son (as I am teaching an evening class on Mondays now) and also stock up on some organic chicken for my Challenge! I bought chicken, mackerel and some frozen ready meals (both vegetarian and meat). They seemed to go down well.

The lunch

As I am on a 10-week Challenge through my gym, I had packed my own healthy lunch and ate it in the car. Thai beef salad and wholemeal pitta bread.

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Hailsham and The Cuckoo Trail

7 Oct

The run

Another request this week! This time from mother dearest, suggesting I go to Hailsham as my cousin runs a pub there with her husband. I looked at a map, and yes, it was near where I travel, and The Cuckoo Trail is very close by! I contacted her and asked if I could park in the pub car park and stop by for coffee before my run, this was arranged and off I went! After a nice little catch up with my cousin and some advice on directions I crossed a supermarket car park and I was on the Cuckoo Trail.

The Cuckoo Trail

It is lovely and flat and straight (no getting lost today!) and perfect for cycling, dog walking and pushing prams, it runs from Heathfield to Hampden Park and I decided to head north, towards Horam (though my cousin’s husband said the southbound section was prettier).

Map of the Cuckoo Trail

One of the notable things about the trail are the numbers of carved benches and art en route:

There is also a wildlife trail for children with small carvings at child-height with interesting facts about the birds and animals that live in the area. Each one is carved by a different artist:

The weather has suddenly changed from still feeling quite summery to a chilly wind and a threat of rain, so it was on with the long running tights and long-sleeved top, plus hat, gloves and waterproof jacket. As I ran the rain came down heavier and heavier, but the trees and frequent bridges provided shelter.

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I ran three miles towards Horam and then three miles back, fairly uneventful as runs go, apart from wishing I had eaten the banana I had left in the car and the impact of the run on hard ground making my tooth hurt after recent dental work! So here’s a few gratuitous photos and a bit of history about the trail:

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The farm

No farm today as I didn’t have time after stopping to natter with my cousin and driving 35-40 mins from the college.

The lunch

Lunch stops are going to be a bit different over the next few weeks as I am doing a challenge through my gym The Metabolic Solution – a 10-week transformation challenge in which you commit to eating clean and exercising regularly. Well I am on top of the exercise but nutrition wise things have slipped back to the half-a-bottle of wine a night and Kettle Crisps stage. But all that is about to stop (for 10-weeks at least) and am following a diet plan of six small meals a day. So today’s lunch was a wholemeal pitta stuffed with chicken, humous and salad eaten in the car in a rainy Tescos car park!